Media partnerships ‘vital for growing Pacific awareness’, says Vanuatu finance chief

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Pacific journalists at the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM) media workshop
Pacific journalists at the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM) media workshop in Port Vila last week. Image: Sera Tikotikoivatu-Sefeti/Wansolwara

By Geraldine Panapasa, editor-in-chief of Wansolwara News

Media partnerships are an important part of the region’s journey and narrative as a Pacific family, says Vanuatu’s Finance and Economic Management Director-General Letlet Augustus in a message to news media.

Opening the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM) Media Workshop in Port Vila last week, he said the skillset of media practitioners in ensuring information made sense in Pacific languages for growing awareness was also important for those leading economic recoveries.

“The Vanuatu FEMM is a historical moment for media and public access to this meeting. [Media] will have new access to the private sector and civil society dialogues,” he said.

Wansolwara student editor Sera Tikotikoivatu-Sefeti
Wansolwara student editor Sera Tikotikoivatu-Sefeti. Image: Wansolwara

“This bodes well for quality reporting of the FEMM as the space where we must set and share our plans for economic resilience and stability,” he told participants of the workshop organised by the Pacific Assistance Media Scheme (PAMS), Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) and the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF).

Wansolwara student editor Sera Tikotikoivatu-Sefeti was one of four journalists from the region selected by PIF to attend the masterclass and report on the FEMM proceedings in Vanuatu.

She said the opportunity to be part of the media workshop would boost her journalism knowledge and training to report on FEMM fairly and accurately.

“The masterclass will enable and equip me with the right skills to understand and formulate questions relating to the economy and its impact on the community,” said the final-year journalism student at the University of the South Pacific’s Laucala campus, who is also a freelance writer for Islands Business.

‘Upskill my knowledge’
“It would also upskill my knowledge on the various economic jargon and how to best relay this to the public,” she said.

“The workshop would also allow us access to leaders in decision-making roles, especially relating to economic development.”

PIF Secretary-General Henry Puna said media partnerships helped cement awareness of the Forum and its members, on the importance of regionalism and leaving no one behind.

“The core message is that as a sea of islands we are stronger when we are together. We are in unprecedented times and face unprecedented challenges and opportunities,” he said.

“The onus now lies with us to seize these opportunities and with it, heighten our visibility as an influential bloc at the global level.”

Republished under a student partnership between Asia Pacific Report and the University of the South Pacific’s Wansolwara.

FEMM participants, Port Vila, August 2022
Islands Business editor Samantha Magick (from left), Pacific Islands News Association’s Pita Lagaiula, Fiji Television Limited’s Mereoni Mili (USP journalism alumni) and Wansolwara‘s Sera Tikotikoivatu-Sefeti. Image: Wansolwara
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